Thursday, July 10, 2008

More Branston...

Branston's Flyer column had another CPOP shout-out yesterday. I wonder if Chuck's next letter to us will be an invitation to join the board, as Branston suggests? I won't hold my breath...

Overton Park: Forty years ago, a coalition of old ladies in tennis shoes, lawyers, and environmentalists joined forces to stop the Federal Highway Administration from running Interstate 40 through Overton Park. Today the threats to the park are apathy and fear of violence.

The Memphis Zoo needs customers. It costs a family of four around $50 just for parking and admissions. No wonder the zoo's busiest day is not Saturday but Tuesday, when admission is free after 2 p.m. Citizens to Preserve Overton Park, formed 50 years ago, has reorganized to protect the Old Forest from zoo expansion. Not many Memphians, however, know about the Old Forest, and fewer walk through it. The city has grown away from Midtown, but fear isn't helping. As I finished a column last week about how attractive the park was on the Fourth of July, Memphis police were investigating a double shooting in the park's picnic area that afternoon.

Next step: The nonprofit Memphis Zoological Society should give board representation to Citizens to Preserve Overton Park and representatives of the Levitt Shell, which will probably need the zoo's parking lot for its upcoming concert series.